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TalkTalk contract and billing

By Aaron Howdle | Monday, November 16th 2020

TalkTalk has positioned itself to provide a decent set of broadband, phone and TV packages at an affordable price. Its broadband service is provided over the Openreach network and as such TalkTalk offers a very similar TV and broadband experience to BT, albeit with a smaller range of services.

In this guide we will look at what you can expect from a TalkTalk contract, what information is on your monthly bill and what happens if you want to leave. We will also take a look at payment options and some of the rights associated with your contract.

What is in a BT contract?

Your TalkTalk contract will form the basis of the relationship between you as the customer and TalkTalk as your provider. This type of contract is called a Service Level Agreement (SLA) because it sets out exactly what each party should expect from the deal. Here we will look at what you can expect to find in a TalkTalk SLA.

Contract length

Most TalkTalk packages are available with 12, 18 or 24-month contracts. The 18-month contract tends to be the cheapest monthly option. When your contract comes to an end prices can go up. TalkTalk offers its fixed price deals to both new and existing customers, so if you intend to stay with TalkTalk when your contract ends, be sure to sign up for a new deal.

Your package

Your contract will set out which features come with your package. It will consist of either a telephone line plus one of its broadband packages, or TV, broadband and a telephone line. In order to get TalkTalk broadband and TV you need a phone line, so all its packages include a phone line.

Most TalkTalk customers can choose between 3 different broadband speeds. Ultrafast broadband is available to some customers in a few parts of the UK, but availability is still quite limited.

If you've chosen to add TalkTalk TV to your broadband package, your contract will give you information on the channels you'll be able to watch. TalkTalk TV is the same as freeview, but with the addition of subscription services like BT Sports and Netflix, which require extra monthly subscription fees.

Your TalkTalk contract will tell you what your phone number will be. This can be a new number, or a number you have requested to take with you from your previous provider. You will also see which boosts you have added. Boosts are extra services you can add to your TalkTalk package for an extra monthly fee.

TalkTalk contracts now come with Pay As You Go calls as standard. Depending on the type of number you are calling, the per minute cost is the same at all times. International and Unlimited UK calling boosts are available at an extra cost, plus all customers get CallSafe call screening as standard.

Installation

When you sign up to a TalkTalk deal, you have a choice between Speedy Install or an installation performed by an engineer. If you select Speedy Install, you will be sent a kit containing all the equipment and cables required for your package. This kit is sent out after your service has been switched on to avoid any confusion which could be caused by the service not working yet. Customers who choose Speedy Install have the option of booking a free engineer visit within the first 10 days of receiving their kit. So If you are struggling to get things up and running, you are covered. Alternatively, you can book an engineer installation when ordering your package.

Price changes

TalkTalk guarantees no price rises during the course of your contract. For example, if you have an 18-month contract, the price of your package won’t go up in that time. However, it is not quite that simple. TalkTalk offers numerous extras called Boosts, which can be added to your broadband TV and phone services. These Boosts add extra costs to your monthly bill. Boosts are not included in the fixed price guarantee. So although your basic package will stay the same price, Boosts may go up in price during your contract period.

Cooling-off period

The TalkTalk contract allows cancellation within 30 days of being connected. You will however be charged for the service received before cancellation.

What is in a TalkTalk bill?

Your package charges are billed for the month ahead, so your first bill will be received a few days after your account goes live. Bills are received by email and can be paid by logging into the My Account section of the TalkTalk website. If you prefer paper bills, they are available but they cost extra. Bills are available in alternative formats, such as large print, braille or audio upon request.

This is what you can expect to find on your TalkTalk bill.

  • Bill summary – This section shows the total of any balance carried forward from a previous bill, plus any payments made since your last bill. You wall also see new charges added since your previous bill
  • Charges in advance – Talktalk charge a month in advance for its services. These charges are shown in this section of the bill
  • Bill highlights – Some items on your bill will be highlighted in blue. The highlighted items include any discounts you receive and certain other charges TalkTalk wishes to bring to your attention
  • Charges since you joined – Pro-rata monthly charges paid since you joined TalkTalk
  • One-off charges – You will only see this section on your bill if you have used any special services that month. For example the bill you receive after set-up will show the equipment and set-up fees in this section

Paying your TalkTalk bill

There are a number of ways to pay your bill. Like most providers, TalkTalk encourages customers to set up a direct debit. This can be done in the My Account section of its website. However if you prefer to pay manually you can do so by logging into MY Account to pay, paying over the phone, recurring card payments, bank transfers, or by cheque. If you choose to pay by cheque it is important to send your payment in time. Cheques are credited to your account 4 days after they are received by TalkTalk. The final option is to pay at a Paypoint using a key, which you can request from TalkTalk. This allows cash payments at all local shops with a Paypoint or Payzone terminal.

Paying bills late will lead to late payment charges, which can soon mount up. If you are struggling to pay it is important to get in touch with TalkTalk. This can sometimes help avoid charges depending on your situation.

Cancelling your TalkTalk contract or moving home

If you do not want to stay with TalkTalk or need to move house, here is what you need to know.

Cancellation charges

If you choose to leave TalkTalk during your contracted minimum term, you'll be charged an early termination fee. How much you'll be charged depends on how long you have on your contract and TalkTalk requires 30 days' notice to cancel your contract. If you are unhappy with your broadband speed, Talk Talk has a Great Connection Guarantee, which allows you to cancel your service within 30 days of your service going live. You will not be charged a cancellation fee, but you will have to pay for your usage so far.

If you're leaving TalkTalk outside of your minimum term, you will not pay a cancellation fee. If you are switching to another broadband provider, they will inform TalkTalk and a 14-day notice period will apply. Cancellation charges also do not apply if you're leaving within your initial 30 day cooling-off period.

Moving home

If you are moving house within the term of your contract you can take your service with you. TalkTalk will charge a moving fee to set up its service at your new address. 14 days notice is required to ensure your service is ready when you arrive at your new home.

Managing your TalkTalk account

You can manage your account by visiting the TalkTalk website and logging into the My Account section.

My Account allows you to view your bills, check your usage, change your personal details and to upgrade your package. You can also add any Boosts you want such as subscription TV channels or call packages. There is also a comprehensive help section and online chat to help you solve any problems you may have.

Frequently asked questions

Will I pay more with TalkTalk out of contract?

Yes, a discount is applied to your bill during your contract. After this minimum term, the monthly cost of your service will go up. TalkTalk offers its deals to both new and existing customers, so if you wish to stay with TalkTalk it is a good idea to sign up for a new package when your contract ends.

How do I pay my final TalkTalk bill?

If you pay by Direct Debit, the full amount will be taken as usual and you won't have to cancel the Direct Debit. If you pay by Monthly Payment Plan, you'll find details on how to pay included in your final bill. If you don't pay by Direct Debit, you can pay as you usually do.

What if my account is in credit when I leave TalkTalk?

TalkTalk will pay you back any money it owes you. This is usually paid by the same method you use to pay TalkTalk.

When do I pay the one-off installation charge?

The installation charge will form part of your first bill, which you receive within a few days of your connection going live.

How can I speak to TalkTalk about my bill?

You can contact TalkTalk customer service by phone on 0345 172 0088 or use its live chat feature on its website.

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